Road Cubes -- Phillies 11, Cubs 1

It was not a pretty scene for the Chicago Cubs versus the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night. Cubs starter Cole Hamels struggled in his first start back in Philly since leaving the team and the Cubs dropped the game 11-1.

Tony Kemp lead off in place of Jason Heyward, who was scratched from the lineup with left knee inflammation. Kemp struck out against Phillies starter Aaron Nola. Nick Castellanos grounded out back to Nola, and Kris Bryant struck out to make it a 1-2-3 inning.

Rhys Hoskins led off the bottom of the first with a single for the Phillies. After a lineout from J.T. Realmuto (with a great diving catch by Bryant at third), Bryce Harper homered to put the Phillies ahead 2-0. The inning ended on a ground out from Jean Segura and a pop out from Scott Kingery.

The Phillies added two more runs in the second on a single from Nola and a sacrifice fly from Hoskins to put them up 4-0.

Things really broke open in the third inning. Kingery led off with a double, followed by singles from Roman Quinn and César Hernández. The Hernández single was for an RBI, changing the score to 5-0. With Adam Haseley at bat, the Phillies executed a double steal, with Hernández moving to second and Quinn to third. Haseley singled for another RBI, and with the score at 6-0, Hamels was pulled. He lasted two innings, with nine hits, eight runs (all earned), two walks, and two strikeouts. The unfortunate performance brought to mind questions regarding his recent oblique injury and whether or not he was truly back to full health.

Alec Mills entered the game for the Cubs and pitched to Nola first, whom he walked. Hoskins grounded into a forceout, with Hernández out at home. The Phillies busted ahead 10-0 on a grand slam from Realmuto, followed by a single from Harper. The inning mercifully ended after Segura grounded into a double play.

Harper hit his second home run of the night in the sixth inning, and the Cubs now trailed 11-0.

Bryant finally put the Cubs on the board with a leadoff home run in the seventh inning. The inning would end with the Cubs trailing 11-1, as Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez both lined out and Kyle Schwarber struck out for out three.

Nick Pivetta replaced Nola on the mound in the top of the eighth and got a swinging strikeout from Ian Happ. Victor Caratini then grounded out to short and Mills was called out on strikes.

The Phillies sent Juan Nicasio to the mound in the ninth. Castellanos singled with one out and advanced to third on defensive indifference after a Bryant strikeout, but the game ended on a fly out to left field from Rizzo.



Source: FanGraphs


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  • How many more seasons will it take Theo and Jed to figure out we need a lead off hitter or realize Schwarber can’t hit?

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    If the Cubs hitters can’t hit Smyly tomorrow, they’ve got real problems.

  • Here we go again. Why do I feel like this movie has been played before? Lol.

    The only thing I would say that bothers me is we are starting to get boat raced more than any other time with this current team. Not a good sign.

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    StL is winning 6-0 late in the game. We’ll be tied for first tonight.

  • With the score 11-0, KB hits a home-run. Evan Altman of Chicago Insider will spend two paragraphs telling us of his hitting prowess in the clutch.

  • In reply to veteran:

    Funny how you disappear for days only to troll when something fits your lame ass false narrative. Should have Bryant gone up there without a bat and let the pitcher strike him out because it was 11-0?

  • In reply to veteran:

    Damn glad KB hit a home run to break up the shutout. Of course I am a Cub fan.

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    In reply to veteran:

    Give me some credit here, Chief, it'd be a helluva lot more than two paragraphs. Feel free to address me directly in the future.

  • In reply to Evan Altman:

    I look forward to your treatise on the subject. I look forward to it a whole lot more than the next time Kris Bryant has the audacity to hit a home run that isn't "clutch" according to a commenter who was strangely quiet between last night and Sunday.

  • I think I have come to the realization that this team is just not that good.

    My thinking coming into this season was that the boys would be embarrassed and have something to prove after the way 2018 ended.

    Well, regardless if they were motivated or not, they have to play the game better and they have not.

    This franchise has moved backward since 2016 and I am open to seeing some substantive changes throughout the organization to shake off the malaise of this Cub team.

  • In reply to brownjay:

    Bingo. They are a good team, not a great team. Way too many question marks. Castellanos has been a fantastic pick up but they aren’t on the Astros/Dodgers level. The rotation is showing its age, and just isn’t good on the road. The bullpen has holes everywhere. The lineup misses Contreras for sure.

  • I blame Banghart.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    Second that.

  • In reply to Cubs09:

    As you should.

  • Lasts night was one of those games that was over quick. Cole didn't have it and Nova did. It was over right after the anthem. We need a victory in every port, so we will see.


    Maddon on modern hitting philosophy:

    “It’s really being morphed into an area that’s non-sustainable. There are too many holes in the methods that are being profligated right now. It just doesn’t work that way.”

    Gonzales: "Maddon said he is baffled when he sees batters who have only twice as many RBIs as homers."

    “All that (tells) me is that they don’t know how to drive in runs with a single,” Maddon said. “It’s an all-or-nothing approach. And that’s being advocated."

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    This team will be even worse if MLB deadens the balls next year

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Something has already deadened this team's balls on the road this year.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    If Maddon is right, and believe that he is. It's why batting averages have declined and strike outs increased. All or nothing hitters, in the day, hit in the bottom third of the order. It's also why defensive shifts work, because everybody is trying to jerk the ball over the fence. It's also is why Castellanos helps and why Zo is needed.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    For those keeping score at home, Anthony Iapoce is the Cubs' sixth hitting coach this decade. Will he be the fall guy from this year's player exit interviews?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Probably, even though it's an organizational flaw

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    I disagree with Joe. He has not given credit to the adjustment in pitchers. The way pitchers have changed going more vertical with 4 seam fastballs and then hard 12-6 curveballs has made it more difficult. The pitching labs and technology via Rapsodo has guys tweaking and making adjustments on all pitches to get hitters out.

    Seems like nearly every guy coming out from bullpens is a Doc Golden clone from the mid to late 80’s—throwing a 95+ mph riding fastball (high spin rate) and then a hammer curve. Starting Pitchers are allowed 2 turns thru the lineup and then bring in the pen.

    Hitting is difficult to begin with and pitchers have made an adjustment to what hitters have done the last few years. There will be another round of adjustments and we will see where it leads.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Choke up and move the ball against those guys. The pitcher is providing the exit velocity for you. Find a hole. Be a ball player.

  • I believe Joe is 100% right about the "all or nothing hitters". I also believe the Cubs have more of these all or nothing hitters on their team than most other teams and this includes our "core" players. As a result, I can't help but think if this is true, then as the manager, why doesn't Joe do something about it? Supposedly, these young players like Joe and will listen to him.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    It's hard to change approach on a dime, if it can be done at all.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    With all due respect, on a dime? Joe has been the Coach for how long?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I was thinking more of where hitters are now and the reality of quick chance success going forward. Swing changes and muscle memory etc.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It's a process.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I just saw Vogelbach stats (all or nothing) he is pretty much Schwarber without the ability to man the outfield.

    I think Theo figured the whole damn thing out. Draft hitters in the first round, odds are good they will contribute. Load up on starting pitchers after that.

    Ask the White Sox and Mets how drafting and trading for young pitchers has worked out . Where as the Cubs and Astros have went for the hitters and signed the FA pitchers.

    The next teams could be the Padres and the Bluejays who have also loaded up on hitters.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I'm all for "hitters" but not HRs or nothing type hitters. I was talking about HRs or nothing

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Theo didn't figure it out when he went against many scouts drafting Kyle Schwarber, who many scouts pegged him going to an American League club where he could DH and possibly learn to play first base. The Cubs front office kept wishing Kyle would turn out better than an all or nothing hitter. Theo also passed on Yellich who the Cubs low balled Miami, passed on Michael Brantly, and Andrew McCutchon. all because they have Kyle Schwarber.
    When the Ricketts family hired Theo, Theo proclaimed the MLB draft was there Indy 500. Pump the brakes on that statement. because if this was the Indy 500, you crashed !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Your post should be “a bunch of half-truths”. Schwarber was signed below slot so Theo could spend more on other players in subsequent rounds. Please note that a Schwarber DID hit for average and power during his torrid stretch through the minor leagues. His knee injury certainly derailed him. At least be correct in your bashing of Schwarber. Based on Schwarber’s track record before injury, he was a left handed version on Kris Bryant. That would be one helluva a hitter, FWIW.

    The Cubs did not low ball anything one Yellich. They never made an offer and could not compete with what the Marlins wanted at the time. They can’t randomly sign Brantley or McCutcheon when they had guys under contract.

    Other than cleaning that up, what a great post.

  • It was in print that Schwarber was offered for Yellich. Schwarber is far from being washed up. He's just in the wrong league. You can't bench Rizzo to teach Schwarber to play first base. And taking lesser talents to sign for under slot deals is nonsense. This means your not taking the best available talent out there.
    Changing pitching and hitting coaches yearly offers no continuity and has to confuse some players. This is some indication that something is wrong, coming from the front office.

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